I write a lot. And when I do I need music. And the right music at that.
Now, I have been on the music software scene since the beginning. Like any other millennial, I had Napster in the early days and would burn CD’s for my friends and family on the daily. I am a HUGE music fan, and I tried it all from Rhapsody to Pandora, and since the first iPod throughout generations of iPhones I obviously also had iTunes.
So, I have a huge library of songs that have reincarnated right through all my various operating systems and after my first breakup up with iPhone because of iTunes in 2012, I came back to it for one reason only this year: CarPlay.
My new BMW X5 has CarPlay, which is awesome. Sadly, BMW is not opening the doors to Android Auto, which might make my second car purchase an Audi, which does support Android Auto. But I digress.
I need Apple Music not only because I can use it with CarPlay in my BMW, which doesn't support Android Auto, but I really like using Siri whilst driving. I say things like, “Hey Siri, play the new album by G-Eazy” or “Play my Sagittarius Playlist” and it works without a problem.
I have named Siri, “Sir” and gave him a British accent so that he now more resembles Alfred while I am requesting this and that. It just seems more proper that way. Anyhow, Sir can also play my playlists that have moved with me from years ago, and that’s a lot of fun.
But here is where things get tricky. When listening to a memorized playlist (I know what is coming next), I can tell when a song in my playlist has been skipped, which is absolutely annoying when it’s one of my favorite songs. When this accumulates... you get the idea. These are usually songs that cannot be uploaded into iTunes Match or into Apple’s Cloud, for whatever reason (I am thinking legal). Usually this applies to remixes, but it also restricts songs that have been shared or very old songs too.
Aside from CarPlay, what I also like about Apple Music is Beats1 Radio and the DJ playlists, from Deadmau5 for example. Also, I love, love, love Podcasts and Apple does them best! Better than Google or anyone else, because they have the largest syndication and of course it works in CarPlay.
Google Play Music.
I was one of the first subscribers to Google Play Music. I can now use Google Play Music with Apple CarPlay, which is awesome. What’s even better is that Google Play Music doesn't have the aforementioned restrictions. I can even access voice recordings in my library. Every song I have is on Google Play Music and it’s glorious. However, “Ok, Google” doesn’t work, though I am sure it would work with Android Auto, and when I am driving at high speeds, the last thing I want to do is fiddle with the touchscreen of my X5 to get the song I want. Hence the reason I need Siri! Just tell him what I want to hear and that’s it. But he doesn't work with Google Play Music! Very frustrating. But I need Google Play Music because I can take all of my music library with me wherever I go. So how could I dump it?
The third service I have a hard time letting go of is Spotify. Hands down, Spotify has the best algorithms in finding me new music. It puts Apple’s recommendations to shame! With Apple for example, if I accidentally play a song I don’t like I will be punished to listen to these types of songs in my “For You” playlists. No, thank you. Plus, the Apple new music mixes often contain songs that I already have, when I am looking for new music, that’s the last thing I want.
The “Discover Weekly” playlist from Spotify is just a dream. The only downside is that it refreshes every week and if you don’t save the songs you like, they will be forever gone. Spotify is also the fastest of the 3 music services. The songs load so quickly, and here I can also follow my favorite artist and their playlists, which is pretty cool to find new music too. Another Spotify downside is that while there is workaround to access my library, I can’t take it with me on the go and therefore cannot listen to my entire music catalogue. Spotify works with Apple CarPlay but not Siri.
use Spotify to find good music that is new, Google Play Music to access my entire library and Apple Music to use CarPlay.
It’s pretty obvious what needs to happen in order to make the ideal music streaming service, at least for people like me. Thankfully, I only pay $7.99 for Google Play Music as an early adopter and can write off Spotify as we use it in retail. Apple Music just takes the full amount, but at least I can access songs via Siri.
Is it overkill? No, because as every music lover knows, you never know when you’ll need that song and no, YouTubing it is not going to cut it.
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